Zahranicni Armada 1939-1945: misto narozeni: politicky okres Nove Mesto na Morave


Zahraniční armáda 1939-1945


(místo narození: politický okres Nové Město na Moravě)

od

Jiří Plachý




Kniha čtenáře seznamuje v patnácti kapitolách s dějinami druhého československého zahraničního odboje. Od tragických událostí března 1939, po nichž krátce začali nejrůznějšími nebezpečnými cestami za hranice odcházet ti, kteří chtěli za znovuobnovení československé nezávislosti bojovat se zbraní v ruce, přes období, kdy se jednotky čs. zahraniční armády a letectva začaly formovat v Polsku a Francii let 1939–1940, ve Velké Británii, na Středním východě a v Sovětském svazu, až do triumfálního návratu v květnu 1945.

Řadami československých zahraničních formací prošlo během války na 40 tisíc mužů a žen, kteří bojovali na všech frontách – v Polsku v září 1939, ve Francii v červnu 1940, při obraně Britských ostrovů, v Sýrii a u Tobruku v roce 1941, resp. v letech 1942–1943, a na východní frontě u Sokolova, Kyjeva, Bílé Cerekve, Dukly a dalších míst. Zvláštní místo pak patří letcům, bojujícím po celých šest let na nebi Polska, Francie, Sovětského svazu, a především ve Velké Británii.

Nejméně 54 z těchto vojáků pocházelo z tehdejšího politického okresu Nové Město na Moravě. Také oni byli při všech důležitých bojových operacích našich zahraničních jednotek a někteří z nich na bojištích, ležících stovky kilometrů od jejich domovů, dokonce položili své životy. Jejich životopisy provázejí kapitoly věnované „velkým dějinám”, anebo jsou připojeny ve zvláštní biografické části. Kniha je založena na primárním studiu archivních pramenů a je doplněna desítkami unikátních dobových fotografií, z nichž některé jsou publikovány vůbec poprvé.

Publisher:
Vydavatel
Nakladatelství Tváře
ISBN:
Format:
Počet stran
Hardback, 192 pages
A4, Vázaná kniha, 192 stran
Language:
Jazyk
Czech
Česky
Published:
Publikováno
2020.
Price:
Cena
399 Kč




Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Books, Information | Leave a comment

de Havilland Tiger Moth



History

The de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth is a single-engine biplane light aircraft. It was developed principally to be used by private touring customers as well as for pilot instruction for both military and civil operators. It was a derivative of earlier de Havilland Moth training aircraft and was designed because the Royal Air Force was dissatisfied with their existing de Havilland Moth Trainer due to poor accessibility of the front cockpit. As a service requirement, RAF crews all wore parachutes and thus accessing or exiting into either the front or the rear instructor’s cockpit of a Moth was difficult enough on the ground but unviable if one of the crew had to bail out quickly once airborne. With the potential of a large RAF order for a basic training aircraft, de Havilland re-developed the earlier DH60G Gipsy Moth. The fuselage was strengthened for service use, fitted with a Gipsy III inverted, rather than upright, engine for improved forward view, the four wings were initially swept-back nine inches, to allow easier exit from the cockpit by parachute and re-designated the DH82. The prototype dual-control DH82 Tiger Moth maiden flight was on 26 October 1931 resulting in the RAF ordering 35. Some early production models were also being purchased by civilian owners.

From the outset the Tiger Moth proved to be an ideal trainer, simple and cheap to own and maintain, although control movements required a positive and sure hand as there was a slowness to control inputs. Some instructors preferred these flight characteristics because of the effect of “weeding out” the inept student pilot

The Tiger Moth entered service at the RAF Central Flying School in February 1932. The RAF subsequently placed orders for 50 more aircraft powered by the more powerful 130 hp Gipsy Major engine I instead of the 98 hp Gipsy III, the upper wings angled back a further two inches for front cockpit access and plywood instead of fabric covered top fuselage, these modifications led to the aircraft being designated the DH82a by de Havilland and Tiger Moth II by the RAF. From 1937 onwards the Tiger Moth was made available to general flying clubs and to overseas customers; by 1939 nearly 40 flying schools operating the type had been established, nine of which operated civil-registers models as well. The type was quickly used to replace older aircraft in the civil trainer capacity, such as the older de Havilland Cirrus Moth and Gipsy Moth.

By the start of the Second World War the RAF had around 500 Tiger Moths in service. In addition, nearly all civilian-operated Tiger Moths throughout the Commonwealth were quickly impressed into their respective Air Forces in order to meet the strenuous wartime demand for trainer aircraft.

Design

One distinctive characteristic of the Tiger Moth design is its differential aileron control setup. The ailerons (on the lower wing only) on a Tiger Moth are operated by an externally mounted circular bellcrank, which lies flush with the lower wing’s fabric undersurface covering. This circular bellcrank is rotated by metal cables and chains from the cockpit’s control columns, and has the externally mounted aileron pushrod attached at a point 45° outboard and forward of the bellcrank’s centre when the ailerons are both at their neutral position. This results in an aileron control system operating with barely any travel down at all on the wing on the outside of the turn, while the aileron on the inside travels a large amount upwards to counteract adverse yaw.

Training

The Tiger Moth II became the primary trainer throughout the Commonwealth and elsewhere. It was the principal type used in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan where thousands of military pilots got their first taste of flight in this robust little machine. The RAF found the Tiger Moth’s handling ideal for training future fighter pilots. Generally docile and forgiving in the normal flight phases encountered during initial training, when used for aerobatic and formation training the Tiger Moth required definite skill and concentration to perform well – a botched manoeuvre could easily cause the aircraft to stall or spin. From 1941 onwards all military and many civil Tiger Moths were outfitted with anti-spin strakes positioned on the junction between the fuselage and the leading edge of the tailplane, known as Mod 112; later on, the aileron mass balances were removed for improved spin recovery performance.

Elementary Flying Training Schools [EFTS] were often pre war flying schools that had been paid by the RAF to train pilots to a standard level. When war broke out they were incorporated into the RAF and expanded. However the transition was fairly simple, the core instructors often had years of experience, new instructors were easily trained and everyone was familiar with the planes both pilots and engineers.

In 1935 the RAF trained about 300 pilots a year, by August 1940 this had increased to 7,000 pilots a year. At an EFTS, a pilot would typically receive 50 hours of elementary flying training – 25 hrs dual, 25 hours solo, over a 28 week period, by June 1940, training time was reduced to 23 weeks, by August 1940 reduced further to 22 weeks. During WW2 3 EFTS were based at Watchfield, 6 EFTS at Sywell, 7 EFTS at Desford, 15 EFTS at Kingstown, 22 EFTS at Cambridge, 26 EFTS at Theale, 28 EFTS at Wolverhampton, 29 EFTS at Clyfe Pypard and 34 EFTS at De Winton, Canada.

A total of 8,868 were built were manufactured.

Tiger Moth II Specification:

Powerplant: 130 hp Gipsy Major engine
Performance: Max speed: 160 mph,
Cruise speed: 86 mph,
Ceiling height: 18,000 ft
Range: 300 miles.
Weight: Unladen: 1,200 lbs,
Max laden: 1,825 lbs.
Dimensions: Wing span: 29 feet 4 inches,
Length: 23 feet 11 inches,
Maximum height: 8 feet 9 inches.
Armament: None.
Crew: 2




Posted in Aircraft | Leave a comment

Runnymede 2020 Remembrance

VIRTUAL SERVICE OF COMMEMORATION

AIR FORCES MEMORIAL, RUNNYMEDE

Virtuální pietní akt RAF v Runnymede

This virtual service is a unique collaboration between the Royal Air Force and the armed forces broadcaster (BFBS). The collective intention is to ensure that the service is shown across as many Nations and as widely as possible. In this unprecedented year we have just commemorated the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, we will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day in August and in September we will commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Battle Of Britain. And while not forgetting our history and reflecting on the huge commitment of our forebears we will also be reflecting on the tragic loss of so many around the World to COVID 19, the hidden enemy.

Tento pamětní akt je unikátní spoluprací RAF a BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Service). Jejich záměrem je zprostředkovat jej do co nejvíce zemí. V podmínkách, jaké nikdo z nás nezažil, jsme si nedávno připomněli 75 let od vítězství nad nacismem, v srpnu si připomeneme 75. výročí vítězství nad Japonskem a v září pak 80. výročí bitvy o Británii. Připomínajíce si naši historii a přemítajíce o obětech našich předků, nezapomeneme uctít ani oběti corona viru po celém světě.

The Royal Air Force are asking that nationally and globally we join together to remember those who lost their lives in World War 2 and, to this day, have no known grave; reflecting on the devastation it brought to their loved ones. We would be grateful if you would join us on 17th May in respect of those that gave the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom today.

RAF vyzývá, abychom si zde v Británii i po celém světě připomněli ty, kdo padli ve druhé světové válce a do dnešních dnů nemají vlastní hrob, i to, jaké utrpení tato skutečnost přinesla jejich pozůstalým. Budeme vděční, když se k nám 17. května připojíte a vzdáte úctu těm, kdo za naši současnou svobodu přinesli nejvyšší oběť.

Remembrance message, 2020, from
Col. Jiří Niedoba,
Defence Attaché at the Czech Embassy, London:

Poselství plukovníka Jiřího Neidoby,
přidělence obrany na České ambasádě v Londýně:

Remembrance message, 2020, from
Col. Jan Goceliak,
Defence Attaché at the Slovak Embassy, London:

Pozdrav
plukovníka Jana Goceliaka,
přidělence obrany Slovenské republiky v Londýně
při vzpominkovém aktu v Runnymede 2020.

_______________________________________________________________

The Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede commemorates, by name, the 20,547 airmen who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves, 149 of whom were Czechoslovak.

Památník RAF v Runnymede jmenovitě připomíná 20.547 letců, kteří padli za druhé světové války při operacích prováděných ze základen ve Spojeném království a severní a západní Evropě, a nemají oficiální hrob. 149 z nich bylo Čechoslováků.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

_______________________________________________________________

How to watch and listen to the virtual celebration, created by BFBS,
on Sunday 17th May:

Watch on TV Forces News Weekend at 17.30 (UK time) on BFBS Extra overseas or on Forces TV in the UK on Sky 181, Virgin 274, Freesat 165, Freeview 96 and YouView 96.

Details on how to watch online are at forces.net/runnymede where you can also read about the event. This page is now live.

Listen on BFBS Radio worldwide at 14.30 (UK time) at radio.bfbs.com/stations/bfbs-uk
– a podcast will also be available afterwards at radio.bfbs.com/podcasts/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIpDHsSbdIo

https://www.facebook.com/ForcesTV/

Celý akt bude k vidění online
v neděli 17.května 2020 v pravé poledne na těchto místech:

www.forces.net/runnymede

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIpDHsSbdIo

https://www.facebook.com/ForcesTV/

na BFBS radio bude po ukončení aktu k dispozici podcast.




Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Ceremony, Forthcoming Events, Not Forgotton | 1 Comment

Brno – 1.10.2020. – 311 Sqn










Posted in 311 Sqd, Forthcoming Events, Information, Not Forgotton | Leave a comment

Ljuba SALACOVA


Ljuba SALAČOVÁ

* 16.05.1924., Svinařov, Czechoslovakia.
† 19.04.2020. Middlesborough, UK.

_______________________________________________________________

With sadness we must advise that

Ljuba SALAČOVÁ

Clerk/Ground personnel

died

19 April 2020.

_______________________________________________________________

19.04.2020. v Middlesborough, UK,

zemřela

Ljuba SALAČOVÁ

Uředník/Pozemní personál.

_______________________________________________________________

Rest in Peace

Čest její památce




Posted in No longer with us | 3 Comments

75th Anniversary of VE Day


75. výročí vítězství nad nacismem

Remembering the Czechoslovak airmen who died in the fight for the liberation of their homeland during WW2.

Připomínáme si československé letce, kteří padli v boji za svobodu své vlasti ve druhé světové válce.

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Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd, 312 Sqd, 313 Sqd, 68 Sqd, Not Forgotton | Leave a comment

Svatopluk Janouch – One of the Few





Svatopluk JANOUCH

One of the Few

…………….* 06.11.1913. Holín, Jičín.

…………….† 12.04.66. New York, USA.






Pre WW2:

Svatopluk Janouch was born on 6 November 1913 in the village of Holín, near Jičín, about 50 miles North-East of Prague. He undertook his elementary education at Jičín Grammar School between 1925 and 1933 when he matriculated. In 1933, for his compulsory military service, Svatopluk enlisted as a cadet at the Military Aviation Academy at Prostějov. In 1934, having trained as an aerial observer, he was posted to the 3rd Air Regiment ‘M.R. Stefanik’, deployed at Piešťany, in the Slovak region of Czechoslovakia. Deciding to remain in the military when his service was completed, he was initially posted to the Military Aviation Academy at Hranice, for pilot training, and then returned to Prostějov where he completed his pilot training, achieving the rank of poručík (Pilot Officer). On 1 August 1936 he was posted to the 1st Observation Sqn, of the 1st ‘T.G. Masaryk’ Air Regiment deployed at Prague-Kbely airbase. On completion of his fighter-pilot training, he was posted to the 43rd Fighter Sqn of the 1st Air Regiment who were equipped with Avia B-534 biplane fighter aircraft. From 8 July 1938, he was appointed gunnery-officer and the squadron was then redeployed to the Slovak region of Czechoslovakia.

When the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939, the Bohemia and Moravia regions became a German Protectorate and Slovakia became a German ‘puppet’ state. The Czechoslovak Air Force was disbanded and all personnel demobilized; as a Czech, Svatopluk was returned to the German Protectorate. During his service in the Czechoslovak Air Force, he had achieved 430 flying hours.

Poland:

The Czechoslovak Air Force was quickly disbanded by the Germans and all personnel dismissed; the same fate befell most of those serving in the Czechoslovak Army. Germanisation of Bohemia and Moravia began immediately. For the military personnel and many patriotic Czech citizens, this was a degrading period. Many sought to redress this shame and humiliation and wanted to fight for the liberation of their homeland. By 19 March 1939, former senior officers of the now-disbanded Czechoslovak military had started to form an underground army, known as Obrana Národa [Defence of the Nation]. One of their objectives was to assist as many airmen and soldiers as possible to get to neighbouring Poland where Ludvík Svoboda, a former distinguished Czechoslovak Legionnaire from WW1, was planning the formation of Czechoslovak military units to fight for the liberation of their homeland. Within Czechoslovakia, former military personnel and civilian patriots covertly started to arrange for former Air Force and Army personnel to be smuggled over the border into Poland to join these newly-formed Czechoslovak units.

Obrana Národa also worked in co-operation with Svaz Letců, the Airman Association of the Czechoslovak Republic. These two organisations provided money, courier and other assistance to enable airmen to escape to Poland. Usually, this was by crossing the border from the Ostrava region into neighbouring Poland. News soon began to be covertly spread amongst the former Czechoslovak airmen and soldiers and many made their personal decision to go to Poland. Svatopluk was one of those who decided to escape and enlist in one of those units. He successfully managed to cross the border into Poland on 24 May 1939 and reported for duty at the Czechoslovak Consulate at Kraków.

Once in Poland, the Czechoslovak escapers were to find that Poland was not permitting the formation of foreign military units on its territory. However Czechoslovak officials in Poland had been in negotiations with France, a country with which Czechoslovakia had an Alliance Treaty. Under French law, foreign military units could not be formed on its soil during peacetime. The Czechoslovak escapees, however, could be accepted into the French Foreign Legion, but with the agreement that should war be declared, they would be transferred to French military units. The Czechoslovaks would, however, have to enlist with the French Foreign Legion for a five-year term. The alternative was to be returned to occupied Czechoslovakia and face German retribution for escaping – usually imprisonment or execution with further retribution to their families.

Czechoslovak escapers, Małe Bronowice, Summer 1939.

The Czechoslovak escapees were initially billeted at Małe Bronowice, a former Polish army camp outside Krakow, whilst arrangements were made for them to travel to France. After a short stay in Poland, Svatopluk, along with 138 other Czechoslovak military escapees, 42 of whom were airmen, travelled by train to the Polish Baltic port of Gdynia, where on 17 June they boarded the ‘Sobieski’, a Polish passenger ship and sailed to Boulogne, France, arriving on 19 June.

France:

On arrival in France, Svatopluk and his fellow escapees were taken to the French Foreign Legion’s recruitment barracks at Place Balard, in the South West of Paris, for medical examination and recruitment documentation to be completed for their acceptance into the Foreign Legion. This time was to serve as a familiarisation period to learn the ways of the Legion and to study French crash-courses, and they took every opportunity to practise their new language skills with French girls. He was accepted into the 1st Regiment of the French Foreign Legion, with the rank of Sergeant, and the Czechoslovak escapees were transferred to the Foreign Legion’s training camp at Sidi-bel-Abbès, Algeria. With the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, he was released from his Foreign Legion service and transferred the following day to l’Armée de l’Air and posted to Escardrille Régionalle de Chasse 572, of their Colonial Air Force. On 18 September, he was transferred to their Centre d’instruction at Blida airbase, then on 20 October to their Escadre de Marche at Oran la Senia airbase, Algeria, for re-training on French fighter aircraft.

Oran La Senia, December 1939.

Lognes – Emmerainville, May 1940.

On 15 December, having completed his re-training he was posted to GC I/6, at Marignane airbase near Marseille, who were equipped with MS-406 fighter aircraft. GC I/6, and whose complement now included 15 Czechoslovak pilots. He was redeployed, on 8 March 1940, to Chissey airfield, about 60 km south-east of Dijon, , to be near the front line. When the Germans invaded France, the rapidity of their Blitzkreig caused GC I/6 to have to frequently change their airfields as they retreated westward and by the time of the French capitulation, on 20 June, they were at Bergerac in south-west France.

During the Battle of France he flew 55 operational hours and achieved combat success:

Date Time Location Action
25/05/40 18:30 near Arkeux-Denain 1 He 111 destroyed
03/06/40 11:00 near Le Bourget 1 Me 110 destroyed
05/06/40 17:15 near Foret de St. Gobain 1 Hs 123 destroyed

But this was not without mishap; during his combat on 3 June, his Ms-406c was in collision with another aircraft causing him to make a forced-landing; and on 7 June, at about 18:00 his aircraft was damaged by anti-aircraft fire causing shrapnel wounds in the leg. He managed to reach Lognes-Emmerainville airfield and was taken to hospital in Paris.

With the rapidly advancing German forces who were now only an hour away, he discharged himself, on 13 June, from hospital to avoid being captured. Using bicycles and travelling in cattle-trucks he managed to reach Bordeaux, in South West France, where on 19 June sailed aboard the ‘Karanan’ to Falmouth.

RAF:

On arrival to England he was accepted into the RAF Volunteer Reserve, at the rank of P/O, and posted to the newly formed 310 (Czechoslovak) Sqn who were stationed at Duxford and equipped with Hurricane Mk I aircraft.

Svatopluk with founding members of 310 Sqn, Duxford August 1940. The Czechoslovak airmen are still in their l’Arne d’Air uniforms.

Here Svatopluk was re-trained for Hurricane aircraft and made his first operational flight on 19 August 1940. He flew in the Battle of Britain and achieved combat success destroying:

Date Time Location Hurricane Action
Akce
07/09/40 17:15 near Hornchurch V6556 ‘E’ 1 Me 110D
18/09/40 18:15 near Basildon V6556 ‘E’ 1 shared Ju 88

During a dogfight on 31 August 1940, his Hurricane Mk I P3268 was damaged by enemy fire, but he managed to safely land at Duxford. That 28 October, Czechoslovak National Day, he was awarded his 1st and 2nd Válečný kříž 1939s, and on the following day he was promoted to the rank of Acting F/Lt. On 27 December 1940 he was promoted to the rank of F/O, and on 28 February 1941, he was appointed Flight Commander of ‘B’ Flight but on 5 May he went into hospital for a health issue that resulted in preventing him from flying operationally.

He was discharged from hospital, on 29 May 1941, returning to Duxford as a Flight Controller and was promotion to Acting F/Lt. He was awarded the Czechoslovak Za chrabrost medal on 8 August. On 17 October 1941 he was posted to Debden, again as a Flight Controller where he remained until 13 May 1942. He was promoted to the rank of F/Lt on 27 December 1941. Svatopluk’s next posting was to the Czechoslovak Inspectorate General, in London, where he was appointed Czechoslovak Liaison Officer at 10 Group Fighter Command HQ. In recognition of his service with l’Airme d’Air, the French, on 10 June, awarded him the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, one of only eight awarded to the Czechoslovak airmen, as well as the Médaille Militaire and Croix de Guerre avec 2 Palme a silver star. He remained as Liaison Officer until 27 September 1943 and was then posted, at the rank of S/Ldr to the Czechoslovak Depot at RAF Cosford where he was in command of the Education Pool. On 7 March 1944, he was promoted to the rank of štábní kapitán in the Czechoslovak Air Force. He left the RAF on 3 October 1944. His final WW2 posting was to the now liberated Paris as Czechoslovak Air Attaché where he remained until 23 July 1945.

Post WW2

Czechoslovak Air Force 1946.

Svatopluk returned to Czechoslovakia on 1 September 1945; he remained in the Czechoslovak Air Force and was appointed as Professor to the Military Aviation Academy at Hradec Králové.

Following the Communist take-over in February 1948, the Czechoslovaks who fought for the Allies in WW2 were regarded as being tainted by capitalism and thus ‘undesirable’ in the new Czechoslovak regime. Many were dismissed from the military, demoted, stripped of their Czechoslovak decorations, arrested, imprisoned and subjected to other persecution and degradation.

On 29 February 1948, he was posted to the Military Aviation Academy at České Budějovice but shortly after he was placed on ‘waiting leave’ and was aware of the most likely outcome of that action – arrest by the StB (Státní Bezpečnost, the state secret police) – and imprisonment. He requested to leave the Czechoslovak Air Force, which was granted on 1 May 1948. Anticipating that he would be arrested like many of his former RAF colleagues, he began to prepare to go into exile again. This he achieved shortly after, when he escaped, via the wooded Šumava region of Czechoslovakia, across the border into the American Zone of Germany. He subsequently reached Paris where he worked for Air France for several years. In 1952 become Deputy Director of the New York office of Swissair. He died in New York, on 12 April 1966, aged 54.

Medals:

Great Britain:

1939 – 45 Star with Battle of Britain clasp
Air Crew Europe Star
Defense Medal
War Medal

Czechoslovakia:

Válečný kříž 1939 and bar
Za chrabrost
Za zásluhy I.stupně
Pamětní medaile se štítky F–VB

France:

Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur
Médaille Militaire
Croix de Guerre avec 2 Palme a silver star

Remembered:

Great Britain

He is commemorated, along with the other 2938 Battle of Britain aircrew, on the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall at the National Battle of Britain Memorial, Capel-le-Ferne, Kent :

London Battle of Britain Memorial:

Czech Republic

Winged Lion Monument, Klárov, Prague:


Posted in 310 Sqd, Battle of Britain, Biography, Not Forgotton | Leave a comment

Harrowbeer and Talbenney


Vintage colour WW2 Czech documentary about

Vzácný barevný dokument ze druhé světové války o

312 (Czechoslovak) Sqn at Harrowbeer

312. peruti sídlící v Harrowbeeru

and

a

311 (Czechoslovak) Sqn at Talbenney

a 311. peruti v Talbeney

A history of 311 Sqn here.

Historie 311. zde.




Posted in 310 Sqd, 311 Sqd | 1 Comment

Rudolf Ptacek – One of the Few





Rudolf PTÁČEK

One of the Few

…………….* 19.04.1918. Kostelec nad Orlicí.

…………….† 28.03.1942. English Channel, Cap Gris Nez.




Pre WW2:

Rudolf Ptáček was born on 19 April 1918 in Kostelec nad Orlici, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His father, also Rudolf Ptáček, was the proprietor of a shoe and leather goods shop and also the Chairman of the local Sokol movement, an all-age gymnastics organisation in Czechoslovakia whose ethos was “a strong mind in a sound body”. His father died in the mid-1920s and the local Sokol Committee and his father’s friend, Josef Růžička, became Josef’s guardians. On completion of his elementary schooling in Kostelec nad Orlicic, Rudolph moved to Zvolen, in the Slovakia region of Czechoslovakia, to train as a confectioner with Mr Libotovsky, a native of Kostelec who had a well-established confectionery business there. It was to be a short-lived experience as a trainee confectioner as he was required to undertake his two years compulsory Military Service.

Pre-war Czechoslovak Air Force.


For his military service, he was selected to join Military Aviation Academy at Prostějov as a cadet on 1 October 1936 for pilot training, qualifying as an operational pilot on 5 May 1938; of his class of 63 pupils, he graduated in 19th place. He was selected for fighter-pilot training and assigned to a course at Otrokovice airbase. He completed his training on 15 June 1938 and was assigned to 38th Fighter Sqn of the 3rd Air Regiment at Piešťany, Slovakia, who were equipped with Avia B-534 biplane fighter aircraft. At the end of January 1939, now at the rank of svobodník (Corporal), he was posted to the 41st Fighter Sqn at Prague-Kbely airbase. By March 1939 he had 180 hours of flying experience.

Pre-war, with colleagues from the Czechoslovak Air Force.

To Poland

After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, on 15 March 1939, the Czechoslovak Air Force was disbanded by the Germans and all personnel dismissed. Germanisation of Bohemia and Moravia began immediately. But just four days later, on 19 March 1939, former Senior officers of the now-disbanded Czechoslovak military had started to form an underground army, known as Obrana Národa [Defense of the Nation]. Obrana Národa also worked in co-operation with Svaz Letců, the Airman Association of the Czechoslovak Republic. One of their objectives was to assist as many airmen and soldiers to get to neighbouring Poland where they could be formed into military units to fight for the liberation of their homeland. These two organisations provided money, courier and other assistance to enable airmen to escape to Poland. Usually, this was by crossing the border from the Ostrava region into Poland. Rudolf was one of the many Czechoslovak airmen and soldiers who clearly saw it was their duty to go to Poland from where they could participate to achieve the liberation of Czechoslovakia.

With the help of those two organisations, Rudolf, along with Otto Spacek and František Trejtnar, both colleagues from when they served together in the Czechoslovak Air Force, were disguised as hikers. They travelled to Ostrava where, on the night of 17/18 June 1939, they hid aboard a freight train going to Poland. They successfully managed to covertly cross the border into Poland and reported to the Czechoslovak Consulate at Krakow on 27 June and were sent to Maly Bronowice, a former Polish Army barracks on the outskirts of Krakow which was now utilised as a temporary transit camp for the escaped Czechoslovak military.

Travel document issued to Rudolf Ptáček 28 June 1939, by the Czechoslovak Consulate, Krakow.

The Czechoslovak escapees were to find that Poland was not permitting the formation of foreign military units on its territory. However Czechoslovak officials in Poland had been in negotiations with France, a country with which Czechoslovakia had an Alliance Treaty. Under French law, foreign military units could not be formed on its soil during peacetime. The Czechoslovak escapees, however, could be accepted into the French Foreign Legion with the agreement that should war be declared they would be transferred to French military units. The Czechoslovaks would, however, have to enlist with the French Foreign Legion for a five-year term. The alternative was to be returned to occupied Czechoslovakia and face German retribution for escaping – usually imprisonment or execution with further punishment to their families.

On 25 July 1939, Rudolf and other Czechoslovak military escapees, were taken by train to the Baltic port of Gydnia, Poland. The following day they boarded the ‘SS Kastelholm’ and sailed to Calais, France. Part of the voyage down the Baltic Sea was very rough, even to airmen who were used to flying in turbulent conditions, and so the ‘SS Kastelholm’ stop at the Danish port of Frederikshaven to re-supply was a welcome relief for the Czechoslovaks onboard. After a five-day voyage, they arrived in Calais on 31 July 1939.

With fellow escapers, enroute to France aboard the SS Kastelholm.

To France

With l’Arme d’Air 1940.

Initially, Rudolf and his fellow escapees were transferred to Place Ballard, the Foreign Legion’s recruitment depot at Paris, to undergo medical checks, whilst the necessary documentation was prepared for their enlistment into the Legion pending their transfer to the Legion’s training base at Sidi bel Abbes, Algeria. During this time they attended French classes and any free time was usually spent in Paris exploring the sights and practising their newly learnt French with the girls they met., Before that process could be completed, war was declared and instead Rudolf and the other Czechoslovak airmen were transferred to the l’Armée de l’Air at their recruitment centre at Dugny, near Paris. On 6 October 1939, at the rank of Corporal, he was transferred to Centre d’Instruction de Chasse for re-training on French MS-406c aircraft at Chartres airbase.

On 16 May 1940, after 14 hours of flying, his re-training was completed and he was promoted to the rank of caporal-chef. He was then posted to Patrouille DAT (Groupe de Chasse de Défense), who were equipped with MS-406c fighters and based at Chartres. In the subsequent 18 days, Rudolf managed to achieve four hours of operational flying with l’Armée de l’Air: these proved to be eventful. During that time, he had to make two forced landings due to water contaminating the petrol in his aircraft’s fuel tank. Further flying was curtailed as he was wounded in aerial combat on 3 June when a formation of 15 Do 17 Luftwaffe bombers made an air-raid on Chartres airbase. Rudolf was one of the pilots who managed to get airborne during the air raid and attack the enemy.. During the ensuing aerial combat, his Ms-406c was hit by enemy gunfire; he was wounded in the arm and hand but managed to land safely and was taken to Chartres Hospital for treatment for his injuries during which the small finger on his left hand had to be amputated. When his colleagues commiserated on his loss, his philosophical attitude was: “Don’t worry, it was just a very little finger”.

With the rapid advance of the German blitzkreig he escaped from hospital, on 22 June, with a group of Polish airmen in a truck and drove to St Jean de Luz, a port on the Atlantic coast of France, near the Spanish border. There, on 24 June, they boarded the SS Ettrick which sailed for Plymouth, England, arriving on 26 June 1940.

RAF:

On arrival to England, he was first taken to the RAF Hospital at Davenport for recuperation from the hand injury that he had received in France. On 14 July 1940, he was discharged from hospital and transferred to the Czechoslovak transit camp at Cholmondeley, Cheshire. After a short while, he was transferred to the Czechoslovak Airmen’s Depot at Cosford where, on 25 July, he was accepted into the RAF Volunteer Reserve at the rank of AC2. On 18 September he was promoted to Sgt, three days later he was posted to 6 OTU at Sutton Bridge for re-training on Hurricanes.

He completed his re-training and on 4 October was posted to 43 (China-British) Sqn at RAF Ushworth, near Sunderland, and equipped with Hurricane Mk Is. With 43 Sqn he participated in the final days of the Battle of Britain but without any combat success. His next posting was on 23 November when he was posted to 615 (County of Surrey) Sqn at RAF Northolt, also equipped with Hurricane Mk Is. On 10 February 1941, he was flying Hurricane Mk I P3811 on Circus 4, escorting Blenheim bombers on a raid to Boulogne. At 12:34, on the return flight back to England, he tried to switch between his reserve fuel to the main fuel tank, but his engine cut out. He successfully made a forced landing, without injury, onto the shingle about 2 miles north-west of Dungeness. Another forced landing had to be made, when flying Hurricane Mk I Z2669, on 17 April, at RAF Kenley airfield. Again he was uninjured but the aircraft suffered category ‘A’ damage to the propeller and radiators.

313 Sqn Catterick, June 1941.

On 11 June 1941, he was posted to the newly formed 313 (Czechoslovak) Sqn, at RAF Catterick, becoming one of its founding members. They were equipped with Spitfire Mk IIas, He was assigned to ‘A’ Flight for daytime operations. He re-trained on Spitfires, but on 19 June, his maiden Spitfire training flight ended with a mishap. He was flying Spitfire Mk IIa X4163 RY-R, and on his final approach to land at Catterick, his aircraft was caught in a down-current, causing it to clip its undercarriage on a small copse, ripping it off. He had the presence of mind to increase power and was able to make a belly-landing on the airfield, causing category ‘B’ damage.

He remained with 313 Sqn, without making any operational flights, until 5 July 1941, when he was unexpectedly posted to 222 (Natal) Sqn. This was an unpopular decision, with him and his fellow Czechoslovak pilots. That squadron was deployed at RAF Manston and was equipped with Spitfire Mk IIa and IIbs. The squadron moved to RAF North Weald in August 1941. He achieved combat success on 12 August 1941 when during an offensive sweep over northern France he shot down a Me 109f near St Omer.

It was around this time an RAF Intelligence Officer visited the squadron and gave them a lecture on escape and evasion in the event of being shot down over German-occupied France. This was to be most fortuitous for Rudolf, as a few days later, on the 19 August, he was shot down. That day, the North Weald Wing, consisting of 222 Sqn, 111 Sqn, and 71 Eagle Sqn, participated in Circus 82, providing close escort for six Blenheim bombers, from 107 Sqn, on a raid on the marshalling yard at Hazebrouck, France, about 25 miles south of Dunkirk. Other RAF fighter squadrons providing top cover for the bombers. The raid took place at 19:30, but little damage was done on the target. Luftwaffe Me 109s from Stab/JG26 intercepted the Allied aircraft in the vicinity of the target. In the ensuing aerial combat, eight RAF fighters were lost either over the target or on the return journey to England. Two pilots were killed, two were captured and four managed to evade capture and return to the UK. Rudolf was one of those who was shot down.

He was about 6 miles north-east of St Omer when it happened. His Spitfire Mk IIb P8244 ZD-G “Wigan and District’ was in a dogfight at 12,000 feet with a Me 109, from Stab/JG26, flown by Oblt Johannes Schmid which he shot down at 18:25. He was then attacked himself by another Me 109, flown by Oblt Johannes Schmid, also from Stab/JG26.

“I was attacked by three Me 109’s (after myself attacking four). A cannon bullet hit my engine and I made a forced landing about 18:30 at Rubrouck about 10 km North-Wast of St Omer. I came down in a cornfield and was uninjured. After pressing the IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) button, destroying that set, I made a fire with dry corn under the engine and ran off nearby into hiding. I was able to see that the fire stopped when the corn had burnt out, but could not go back, as two German soldiers appeared.”

Spitfire Mk. II P2844 (ZD-G) – “Wigan and District” in the field at Roubrouck.

“I threw away all my uniform except my trousers and shirt so as to make myself look as much like a peasant as possible. A boy of about 14 then appeared and lent me a bicycle. I cycled for about half a mile and was overtaken by a peasant who told me to follow him to his farm. There I was given civilian clothing, cigarettes and biscuits and told to come back after dark. During that interval I was away, I was seen by some German officers and soldiers but they did not suspect what I was. On my return to the farm, I was given a meal and some more clothing and was taken away on a bicycle by another farmer to a village about 4 miles away, where I was given a French identity card. Next day (20th August) I was taken to St Omer, where I met the nurse who W/Cdr Bader in his unsuccessful escape. I bought a railway ticket and went to Lille (I had no difficulty in this, as I speak fluent French). “

From the escape and evasion lecture he had attended just a few days before, he recalled about a ‘safe house’ at the hairdressers at 1 rue de Turenne, Lille and a lady named Janine there. “On arrival in Lille, I went to that address but was told to go away. I returned there, however, half an hour later, and was allowed to rest there till closing time. Janine said that next time she would not take anyone in who did not know the password (De la part de Jacque ?). Later two French officers in civilian clothes then arrived and questioned me for three-quarters of an hour, at the end of which I succeeded, with some difficulty, in satisfying them that I was not a German.”

Rudolf remained at this address until 31 August, when a member of the resistance arrived with arrangements for him to leave Lille the following day. Rudolf, under the assumed name of Johnny Love, to disguise that he was a Czechoslovak, with fellow evaders F/Lt Crowley-Milling DFC, 610 Sqn and Sgt Adolf Pietrasiak, 308 Sqn also shot down in Circus 82, managed to evade capture as they were passed down the ‘Pat O’Leary’ escape line. They travelled through France – Béthune, Abbeville, Paris, Noyers, over the demarcation line into Vichy France, then onto Valençay, Châteauroux, Toulouse, Marseille, Narbonne, Perpignan to La Rocque which was near the Spanish border. On the night of 6/7th September, over the Pyrenees to neutral Spain. He was arrested on 8 September by Spanish authorities at Figueras, and detained there for one day before being moved to Barcelona where he was held from 10th to 13th, then moved to Saragosa where he was held from 13th to 15th. He was then transferred to the notorious Miranda del Ebro internment camp, being held there until 31 October whilst the British authorities negotiated his release and arranged for him to go to Madrid. He was then taken to Gibraltar, reaching there on 1 December. From there, on 30 December, he boarded the SS Batory, a former Polish ocean liner, now converted to operate as a troopship, which brought him to Gourock, Scotland, arriving on 5 January 1942.

From the escape and evasion lecture he had attended, just a few days before, he recalled about a ‘safe house’ at the hairdressers at 1 rue de Turenne, Lille and a lady named Janine there. The following day, he made his way to that address but the lady there turned him away, he returned later in the day and this time she took him in. Rudolf stayed there until 30 August. With the aid of the French resistance, Rudolf, under the assumed name of Johnny Love, to disguise that he was a Czechoslovak, with fellow evaders F/Lt Crowley-Milling DFC, 610 Sqn and Sgt Adolf Pietrasiak, 308 Sqn also shot down in Circus 82, managed to evade capture as they were passed down the ‘Pat O’Leary’ escape line. They travelled through France – Béthune, Abbeville, Paris, Noyers, over the demarcation line into Vichy France, then onto Valençay, Châteauroux, Toulouse, Marseille, Narbonne, Perpignan to La Rocque which was near the Spanish border. On the night of 6/7th September, over the Pyrenees to neutral Spain. There he was initially detained at the notorious Miranda del Ebro internment camp, before the British authorities negotiated his release and arranged for him to go to Madrid and then onto Gibraltar, reaching there on 1 December 1941. From there, on 4 January 1942, he boarded the SS Batory, a former Polish ocean liner, now converted to operate as a troopship, which brought him to Gourock, Scotland.

On his return, he volunteered to return to operational duties and on 8 January 1942, was posted to 602 (City of Glasgow) Sqn, commanded by the legendary S/Ldr Al Deere, DFC. They were deployed at RAF Redhill, Surrey, and equipped with Spitfire Mk Vbs. However, his five-month absence from flying showed, resulting in him being posted, on 16 January, to 61 OTU, at RAF Heston, west of London, for a refresher course. He was promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer on 3 February 1942, the same day returning to 602 Sqn.

He was killed on 28 March 1942 whilst on a ‘Rodeo’ fighter sweep (Allied fighter sweep over enemy-occupied territory to tempt Luftwaffe fighters to engage with them so that they could be destroyed in aerial combat), in the Pas de Calais region. The Allied squadrons participating in the sweep were 602 Sqn, 457 RAAF and 485 Sqn RNZAF and were lead by G/Capt F.V. Beamish DSO & bar, DFC, AFC. The squadrons rendezvoused at 17:05, local time, and set course for Cap Gris Nez, St. Inglevert and Ambleteuse. The Luftwaffe responded in force, with about 60 Fw190’s and Me 109’s, from Stab/JG26, sent up to intercept the Allied fighters. Flying at 19,000 feet, just south of Calais, G/Capt Beamish saw the approaching Luftwaffe fighters and led the Allied fighters to engage them. Rudolf was flying Spitfire Mk Vb BM148 and in the ensuing combat was shot down into the English Channel, off Cap Gris Nez between 18:50 and 19:00, local time. Rudolf’s body was never recovered. The same fate fell to G/Capt F.V. Beamish was also killed in that engagement.

W/O Rudolf Ptáček is commemorated on panel 73 at Runnymede Memorial, he was 23 years old.

Medals:-

Great Britain
Velká Británie
:

1939 – 45 Star with Battle of Britain clasp
Air Crew Europe Star
Defence Medal

Czechoslovakia
Československo

Válečný kříž and 2 bars (Czechoslovak War Cross 1939 with 2 bars)
Za zásluhy I. stupňa
Za chrabrost
Pamětní medaile československé armadý v zahraničí F i VB

Remembered:

Great Britain

He is commemorated, along with the other 2938 Battle of Britain aircrew, on the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall at the National Battle of Britain Memorial, Capel-le-Ferne, Kent :

London Battle of Britain Memorial:

Czech Republic

Kostelec nad Orlici:

Czechoslovak Airmens Memorial, Dejvice, Prague:

Winged Lion Monument, Klárov, Prague:

Rudolf Ptáček is comemorated in the Remembrance book at St Clements Danes Church, London and St Vitus Cathedral, Prague.


Posted in 313 Sqd, Battle of Britain, Biography, Evasion, Not Forgotton | Leave a comment

Ladislav Bilik






Ladislav BILÍK


………………..* 22.06.1918. Osvětimany.

………………..† 16.08.1949. Uherské Hradiště






Před válkou
Pre-War

Narodil se 22. června 1918 v Osvětimanech, jako nemanželský syn Františky Bilíkové. Vyučil se zahradníkem a následně byl zaměstnán u firmy Vaněk v Chrudimi, od roku 1937 jako vedoucí zahradník u firmy Hnilica v rodných Osvětimanech.

He was born on 22nd June 1918 in Osvetimany as the illegitimate son of Františka Bilíková. He was trained as a gardener and was employed by the Vaněk’s Company in Chrudim. Later. he became a head gardener with the Hnilica’s Company in his birthplace Osvětimany in 1937.

Vojenskou službu nastoupil v říjnu 1938, kdy byl přiřazen k 10. Hraničářskému praporu v Holešově, a 22. března 1939 byl propuštěn z činné služby. Po březnové německé okupaci Československa překročil v srpnu 1939 hranice vlasti do Polska a 12. srpna byl presentován jako dobrovolník u východní skupiny československé armády v Krakově.

Polsko
Poland

His military career commenced in October 1938 when he joined the No. 10 Borderline Battalion at Holešov. On 22nd March 1938 was released from active military service. Following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, in March 1939, on 8 August he escaped over the border to Poland. On 12 August was accepted as a volunteer with the eastern group of the Czechoslovak Army in Krakow.

V polských legiích konal vojenskou službu od 1. září 1939 do 18. září 1939. Od 19. září 1939 byl zajat Sovětskou armádou, která zaútočila na Polsko, a internován v SSSR. Zde byl zadržován do 24. března 1941. Po tomto datu mu bylo umožněno spolu s dalšími zajatými Čechoslováky odcestovat přes Turecko do Palestiny. Sem přijel 12. dubna 1941 a v Haifě vstoupil do britské armády.

He served with the Polish legions from 1st September 1939 to 18th September 1939. On 19th September 1939, he was captured by the invading Soviet Army and interned in the Soviet Union. His confinement there lasted until 24th March 1941. Then, with other captured Czechoslovak military, he departed from the Soviet Union, travelling across Turkey to Palestine where he arrived 12th April 1941, at Haifa and joined the British Army.

Byl přidělen k 11. Východnímu praporu Československé armády na Blízkém východě a zúčastnil se všech jeho tažení. U této jednotky zůstal i poté, co byla přeorganizována na 200. protiletadlový pluk.

He was posted to the 11th Eastern Battalion of the Czechoslovak Army in the Middle East and participated in all of their campaigns there. He stayed with this unit when it was transformed into No 200 Anti-aircraft Regiment.

RAF

V Británii mezitím došlo k vážným bojovým ztrátám u československých perutí a vojáci Československé armády byli vyzváni k dobrovolnému přesunu do britské RAF. Ladislav byl jedním z těch, kteří výzvu vyslyšeli, a vydal se lodí ze Středního východu do Británie. 2. ledna 1943 vstoupil ve výcvikovém středisku RAF v St. Athan do řad RAF VR v hodnosti AC2. Přihlásil se ke službě pilota a v červnu byl odeslán ke 4. ITW (Initial Training Wing) v devonském Paigntonu k výběrovému řízení. Poté, co úspěšně prošel výběrem, byl k dalšímu výcviku umístěn u 3. EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School) v Shellingfordu, kde pobyl od 27.srpna do 24. září a prošel zde základním pilotním výcvikem.

In Britain, the Czechoslovak RAF squadrons were being seriously depleted due to losses incurred in combat and so requests for volunteers from the Czechoslovak Army to transfer to the RAF were made; Ladislav was one of the soldiers who volunteered, On 1 October 1942, he and other soldiers who had volunteered, sailed from the Middle East to Great Britain. On 2 January 1943, he joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve, at the rank of AC2 at the RAF Training School at St. Athan. He volunteered for flying duties and in June was posted to 4 ITW (Initial Training Wing), at Paignton, Devon, for aircrew selection. Successfully completing the selection, he was posted to 3 EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School), at Shellingford, from 27 August to 24 September for elementary pilot training.

1 Paignton, červen/ June 1943.

Kanada
Canada

Po jeho ukončení nastoupil k dalšímu výcviku 13.listopadu u 31.EFTS v kanadském De Wintonu. 14. srpna 1944, stále ještě v Kanadě, byl odeslán k pokračovacímu výcviku u 13. SFTS (Service Flying Training School) v North Battlefordu.

On completion of that course, he was then posted, on 13 November, to No.31 EFTS (Elementary Flying Training School), at De Winton, Canada for further pilot training. On 14th August 1944, he was posted to No.13 SFTS (Service Flying Training School) in North Battleford, Canada to continue his pilot training.

Kanada
Canada

Během svého pobytu v Kanadě uzavřel 24. února 1945 v Amherstu v Novém Skotsku manželství s Julií Chelen. 16. října 1945 se jim narodil syn Ladislav Gerald.

Whilst in Canada, he married Julia Chelen, on 24th February 1945 in Amherst, Nova Scotia, and on 16 October their son, Ladislav Gerald was born.

Po dokončení pilotního výcviku se vrátil do Anglie kde 18.března 1945 přišel k No.7 PRC (Personal Reception Centre) 3. března nastoupil u No. 5 (Pilotní) Advanced Flying Unit na RAF Turnhill. Jeho posledním umístěním u RAF by Československé depo v Cosfordu. Zde bvl povýšen do hodnosti Sergeanta.

On completion of his pilot training, he returned to England and on 18 March 1945, he was assigned to No.7 PRC (Personal Reception Centre) prior to being posted, on 3 April, to No. 5 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit, at RAF Ternhill. His last RAF posting was on 5 June to the Czechoslovak Depot at Cosford. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on 18 March 1945.

Po druhé světové válce
Post WW2

Dne 4. srpna 1945 se Ladislav vrátil do Československa. Doma sloužil o letectva v hodnosti rotmistra. Od října 1945 byl umístěn nejprve na letišti v Praze-Ruzyni a později byl poslán do kurzu pro letecké instruktory v Olomouci. Po ukončení kurzu nastoupil 1.února 1946 u Vojenské letecké akademie v Prostějově jako letecký instruktor.

On 4 August 1945, Ladislav returned home to Czechoslovakia and served in the Czechoslovak Air Force, at the rank of rotmistr (F/Sgt). From October 1945 he was initially deployed at Prague-Ruzyne airbase prior to enrolling on the flying instructor’s course at Olomouc. He graduated from the course and was posted to the Military Aviation Academy at Prostějov as a flying instructor on 1st February 1946.

Tou dobou žil ve vztahu s Annou Jurkovskou a 21.ledna 1947 se jim v Osvětimanech narodila dcera Eva Anna Jurkovská. V roce 1947 byl povýšen do hodnosti praporčíka letectva. 24. ledna 1948 se rozvedl s Julií Chelen a 10.dubna téhož roku se oženil s Annou Jurkovskou.

Ladislav was now in a relationship with Anna Jurkovská and on 21 January 1947, their daughter Eva Anna Jurkovská was born in Osvětimany. In 1947 was promoted to the rank of praporčíka letectva (Warrant Officer). His divorce from Julia Chelen came through on 24 January 1948, and on 10 April he married Anna Jurkovská.

Po druhé světové válce
Post WW2

V roce 1948 po únorovém převratu a následujících „čistkách” byl podobně jako ostatní „západní letci” uvolněn z československého letectva a odeslán na dovolenou s čekaným. Jako “zápaďák“ těžce hledal zaměstnání, tito lidé byli komunistickým režimem umístěni na černou listinu. Ladislavovi, vyvičenému vojenskému pilotovi se nabízelo jen podřadné zaměstnání lesního dělníka v Osvětimanech. V té době se zhoršily jeho problémy se srdcem, které ho trápily už v době služby v RAF. Tento problém následně zkomplikovala otrava krve a 16.srpna 1946 Ladislav v nemocnici v Uherském Hradišti zemřel. Bylo mu pouhých 31 let. Smutnou shodou okolností se tentýž den narodil jeho druhý syn Ladislav. Ladislav Bilík nikdy neviděl ani jednoho se svých dvou synů. Pohřben byl v Osvětimanech.

Following the Communist coup in February 1948, there followed a purge in the Czechoslovak military of those who had served in the west during WW2. Ladislav was placed on dovolenou s čekaným – ‘waiting’ leave – from the Czechoslovak Air Force, more commonly known today as ‘gardening leave’. As a ‘westener’ he was effectively unemployable as ‘westerners had been blacklisted by the new Communist regime. Thus Ladislav, a trained military pilot was only able to find menial work as a forestry worker in Osvětimany. During that time, a heart complaint, which he had already suffered from during his RAF service, worsened. This problem was compounded by blood-poisoning and on 16 August 1949, he died at the Uherské Hradište hospital. He as 31 years old. Sadly, on that same day his second son, Ladislav, was born, Ladislav Bilík never saw either of his two sons. He was buried in Osvětimany.

Dne 11. ledna 1950 mu měla být odebrána hodnost – jeho postoj a jednání údajně neskýtalo záruku, že bude spolehlivým a zcela oddaným lidově demokratickému zřízení. Vzhledem k jeho úmrtí k tomu však již nedošlo.

On 11 January 1950, he was due to be demoted in rank and dismissed from the Czechoslovak Air Force – his western attitude and behaviour did not indicate loyalty and devotion to the new regime; his death cancelled that demotion.

Vyznamenání:
Medals:

Československo
Czechoslovakia

Za chrabrost před nepřítelem
Gallantry facing the enemy medal

Za zásluhy I st.
Merits medal I grade

Vojenská Pamětní medaile československé armadý v zahraničí SV i VB
Memorial Medal of Czechoslovak Foreign Army with Middle East and Great Britain bar

Velká Británie
Great Britain
:

African Star

1939-1945 Star

Defence Medal

© Alexa Gogolová Svozilová

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